I have returned from Bangalore and it feels like no time has passed. Since I left America in January it seems like everything and nothing has changed.
I celebrated my quarter century birthday. I have seen and gotten familiar with a very different part of the world. I felt like a true outsider for the first time. I got engaged to an incredible human and artist. I have a new body of work and many more aspirations than I left with.
There was a lot that happened in India that I did not feel the need to write about because I was experiencing it in real time and documenting it in my sketch books. In the future perhaps I will regret that decision but for now I am happy I was able to live in the moment. It wont be the last time I go to India and I’m sure I will have ample opportunity to get more writing done in the future.
I started the beginnings of what I think will be a two volume graphic novel that will be based on my travels over the past few years. The first book will be on the National Parks adventure I went on and the second volume will be about India. So that is the nightly project I have been working on recently.
My mother and I recently held an Open Studio together in my hometown. We had a busy weekend in Guilford with the Craft Fair happening around the corner from her studio and there were quite a few people who made it to our humble event. She and I will do another show together in the future. Nishant returns to America in a week and he and I will be driving back to Colorado for a month where we will tie the knot on our beloved goat farm.
That’s all for now. Please be in touch!
I meant to post this many weeks ago. This entry jumps jack to January, when I just reached Bangalore and everything was new.
Almost a week ago I boarded a plane that I knew was going to bring me to an unfamiliar world where the only person I knew would be at work for eight hours every day, leaving me to explore Bangalore alone. I’m living in India for the next six months (with a wonderful man I met in May of 2017) and I have no responsibilities other than the goals that I set for myself. If it sounds ridiculous, believe me I am fully aware that it is. I feel insane for making this decision but I also know that if I didn’t do it now, I’d be bored out of my mind in the States, stressed about finding a proper job and simultaneously I’d be running out of money.
So here I am in Bangalore where one USD is approximately 65 rupees, it’s eighty degrees every day and I wake up at 9am to paint on the balcony. The whole reason I am here is to spend more time with my partner, Nishant, who I met at Elsewhere Studios: an artist residency in Colorado. He is a talented VJ and filmmaker who also does a lot of travel for work. Not to linger too long on the romance of it, but I never expected that the summer fling in Colorado would one day bring me to the other side of the world. Yet here I am, waking up to the new sounds of my new life on a new side of the world. This week has been more of an adjustment period than anything and it has been nice to ease into my familiar routine in a foreign place. Obviously there are sights, sounds and smells that are completely new to me and they have not quite settled with my system. I’ve taken to wearing ear plugs to bed because I’ve never lived in a city with a population higher than sixty-seven thousand people and now I find myself living with somewhere near eleven million.
My dear friend Kat asked me an important question right before I left. “What are you most excited for and what are you nervous about?” It took me a moment to answer but I told her that I was excited to have the opportunity to experience a completely different culture and I was nervous about walking. I know it seems silly but walking in new cities is always something that I make a point of doing because there really isn’t another way to fully experience where you are. Now that I’m here I’m still nervous because the rule of the road is thus: if you get there first, you have the right of way. Seems practical but that includes when pedestrians cross the street, even if they are in the middle of the road you have to step forward to make sure drivers don’t try to cut you off. Yesterday I crossed my first Indian street all by myself and it was absolutely riveting. I paced the south side of the road for a few moments before seeing a big enough gap in traffic to make it to the center of the chaos without breaking into a clumsy jog half way through. I arrived on the opposite side where there would generally be a curb, and found several motorcycles still in my way. I do think that I’m starting to get the hang of this charade.
There is so much more that I want to share but I’m going to leave it here today. The plan is to post a new entry every Friday so I hope to keep to that schedule. I’ve included few sketches I’ve done so far. They are simple watercolors of things I remember from moving around the city. The first is an auto rickshaw ride. They are these sweet little three wheeled cabs that are now competing with uber’s cheap prices. Though it still only costs about four american dollars to take a thirty minute ride. The second is of my favorite truck of baby blue with red and yellow warning stripes. A cute detail to notice is the family of three on the motorbike in the background.
Thank you so much for checking in and I can’t wait to live through the next week and report back. Have a lovely weekend!
It seems I haven’t updated in a while. That’s what happens when you’re on the road I guess.
There have been many changes since my last blog post in June. Last time we checked in I was on my way to Vegas to meet up with a fellow artist from Elsewhere Studios. I continued on to visit the following National Parks and Recreation Areas; Grand Canyon National Park, Yosemete National Park, Silver Falls State Park, Olympic National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Craters of the Moon National Monument, Dinosaur National Monument, Fossil Butte National Monument, Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park, the Taos Pueblo and Rio Grande Gorge. I’m sure there were more parks, I just can’t remember right now…
There were also more places and friends I was able to visit but those experiences are still being processed. As soon as I got back from what ended up being the better part of a year on the road, I jumped right back into my part time job as a seasonal traveling recruiter for the Maine College of Art (my alma mater.) I am now at the end of that adventure and I will soon be off to the next one.
On January 9th I will be flying to India to live with my partner - remember that artist I went to meet in Vegas? We fell in love! I will be living and painting in South India for at least six months while we spend more time together. I am very excited and I can’t wait to see what my next body of work will be. For now I hope you enjoy my latest series of work. The first six paintings on the homepage of this site are from different places that stayed while living out the the trunk of a 2008 scarlet Mini Cooper. Minu, as I call her, ended up gaining over 10,000 miles over the course of the road trip.
Thanks for stopping by and please reach out if you have any questions!